Thursday, September 18, 2008
I still faintly remember the scene; my great aunt seated on the kitchen floor, expertly filling the stuffing into the crust and then flattening them into neat little kachoris, all while maintaining a steady stream of tales from here and there. Although the kachori left such a strong memory, I don't remember having it again......
One of the reasons I enjoy cooking is for the sense of accomplishment that it provides. I go about with a smug smile on my face, after trying out a dish that is not regularly made or after attempting a recipe that requires skill. (of course if they turn out well) Praise from grandma is an added motivation.
Thus I embarked on a kachori making adventure this afternoon. My recipe, as always, was a mash-up of multiple recipes with my own little variations. I like this site because the recipes are accompanied by a video, always helpful when you are not sure about "what should be the consistency of the batter" or "how dry should the filling be", etc. Needless to say I peeped in here before I got down to making my kachoris.
My kachoris turned out tasty but slightly chewy...wonder why!...was it because the crust should have been thinner? or was it because the temperature of the oil while frying was not right? Any guesses?
I served my kachoris with some homemade tangy tamarind-date chutney.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I fell in love with 'Dal Makhani' (DM) ever since I had it at a restaurant last year. Now, DM has become comfort food for me. This week I finally got down to trying it on my own. I read many DM recipes on the Internet. I didn't follow any particular recipe to the dot, but picked up ideas from all over. Here is my version, which turned out to my liking, except that it was a tad too hot for me.
- Soak whole urad dal and rajma (red kidney beans) overnight. I measured the urad dal and then threw in some rajma.
- Pressure cook the dals. I added salt while pressure cooking. I also dropped in a couple of bay leaves, a black cardamom, a cinnamon stick and a few cloves while pressure cooking, so that their flavors would be nicely absorbed by the dals.
- Grind tomatoes-ginger-garlic-green chillies to a fine paste.
- Heat oil for tadka. Add heeng, mustard seeds, jeera seeds when the oil is hot.
- Saute finely chopped onions when the seeds start crackling.
- Once the onions are done, add the puree and saute it till its cooked.
- Add pepper powder, anardana powder, some turmeric powder and red chilli poowder (optional)
- Add the dal and mash it slightly. Mix well.
- Add water, salt (if necessary) and allow the mixture to simmer.
- Add some milk and simmer for a bit.
- Garnish with chopped coriander and a dollop of butter. I also used some chopped spring onions for the garnishing.
- Remove the whole masalas from the dal once it is cooked, else, their flavor can be over powering.
- Be careful with the spice. I used 4 ingredients (green chillies, pepper powder, red chilli powder and cloves) and a bit too much of the pepper powder.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
“Don't be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against, not with the wind.”
~ Hamilton Wright Mabie
- A running store helps - I had a very good shopping experience at my local running store. The sales people were real runners. They started off by identifying my foot type and suggested the best shoes for my foot type. I was able to get a real feel of the different shoes I tried, by running around the store or on the treadmill in the store. They gave me all the guidance that I needed to choose the right kind of shoe, without being pushy about making a choice. I would highly recommend going to a running store where one can get personalized attention over buying something at the mall.
- Your running shoe should be a size bigger than your regular shoes. Our feet expand on running; the bigger shoe size gives your feet some room to move.
- Mesh-work on the shoe is an indicator of a good running shoe. The mesh allows your feet to breathe which helps, since feet get hot and sweaty during a run.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I see a dragon. What do you see?
The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.
~ Henri Bergson
Reality is what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is what we believe.
What we believe is based upon our perceptions.
What we perceive depends upon what we look for.
What we look for depends upon what we think.
What we think depends upon what we perceive.
What we perceive determines what we believe.
What we believe determines what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is our reality.
~ Gary Zukav
‘One new perception,
one fresh thought,
one act of surrender,
one change of heart,
one leap of faith,
can change your life forever.’
~ Robert Holden
What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing; it also depends on what sort of person you are.
~ C. S. Lewis.
Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them.
The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
~ Marcel Proust.
People only see what they are prepared to see.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are.
~ Anais Nin
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, Day 2: Mary had predicted that since the ocean water looked blue on Saturday, Sunday would be clear and sunny. How glad we were to see that her prediction was correct. After a good breakfast at our BnB we headed out. We are regular hikers and wanted to try something different this time. We were hoping to rent bikes and bike along the 10 mile trail. We walked to the bike rental shop in town and were surprised and also disappointed to find it closed. With tourists flocking the area for the long weekend who would have expected the shop to be closed!?
Oh well, so we got into the car and headed to some nearby SPs. We hiked at Russian Gulch SP and Van Damme SP. Russian Gulch offered some nice views of the ocean. We stopped by Mendocino for lunch; I was really disappointed with it. I guess previous night’s dinner had got my expectations high.
I was really excited about visiting the
I really wanted to do the 10 mile trail hike, but having hiked for the better part of the day and gotten good views of the Mendocino coast, I gave up on the hike. I doubt if it the views would have been too different than what we had seen during the day.
We walked along the Pudding Creek Trestle before returning to the comforts of our BnB.
I didn’t want to take any risk with my dinner, so we headed to good old Subway. I also wanted to try the local ice-cream (that seemed popular). We grabbed some ice-cream from the Cowlick’s store and rushed back to the Pudding Creek Trestle. We were just in time to see the sun go down. Overall a very satisfying and fun day.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Summer comes with its share of long weekends. We unlike others in this country are always a (?) step behind when it comes to planning trips. It is well-known that, planning in advance ensures that, you get good deals on flights, hotels, etc. But we are one of those people who are doomed to pay more while others seem to miraculously spot deals. We have discovered that procrastination comes with its share of joys. It tends to eliminate options automatically as economically nonviable. Thus, when it is time to make the decision, one is left with fewer choices and the final choice is an obvious one in most cases. As someone wise once said, 'Time is money'. By procrastinating, we like to believe that we save our most precious asset, time, and thus compensate for the extra money we pay for last minute bookings.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
If you miss the train I'm on, you will know that I am gone,
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles,
A hundred miles, a hundred miles, a hundred miles, a hundred miles,
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles.....
P.S. - Hindi film music aficionados...did the song sound familiar? Try listening to this song from the movie Jurm.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
I'd appreciate if you could spread the word :)
Friday, April 11, 2008
Monday, April 07, 2008
I wish I had taken many more flower pictures, oh well...I need help identifying the 1st two flowers in this post. These we spotted on the Bear Valley Trail, two bright little things all by themselves. They were right next to each other and kind of similar yet so different....I'd appreciate if you could point me to their names....
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Newspaper articles about the possible abundance of spring wildflowers this year had gotten me quite excited. So we chose trails that promised us wildflowers. My ideas of floral abundance were not quite met, but maybe we were too early for them. Our camera batteries conked off just a little after we started taking pictures. Anyways, here are a few that we managed to capture...
Monday, March 31, 2008
Armed with the perfect, sour green tomatoes I turned them into this spicy-sweet n sour chutney.
- Roast some sesame and cumin seeds.
- Roast some garlic cloves and green chillies with just a little bit of oil.
- Roast coarsely chopped chunks of green tomatoes till they soften. Optionally you can saute them in oil. In order to save my non-stick pan I added just a little bit of oil. You can also add onions if you wish.
- Grind the ingredients together after adding salt and sugar as per taste.
- For the tadka - Heat a little bit oil (may be like a tablespoon). Add asofoetida, mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to crackle, add methi seeds, curry leaves and dried chillies.
- Pour this over the ground mixture.
- Garnish with cilantro.
This year's Holi was away from home. I did miss the bonfire and the festive spirit, but I tried to ring in some cheer by making the traditional Holi fare - puranpoli. Here are some images of our Holi meal.